Stuff that Jeanne says

There is no rhyme or reason…

Archive for the category “Parenting”

Stuff my dad said..but I never listened!

My dad was a very wise, strong, stubborn man who always liked to offer his advice (when I didn’t want to hear it) and random knowledge about history (which I wasn’t interested in at all). But as I grow older I think to myself..wow, he was right!

My childhood was filled with lectures, promises, and threats, and  they all seemed to work to keep me mostly out of trouble. What I didn’t listen to was the stuff he said that would mold my future.

Let’s start with the most mortifying experience I had as a child. Right before hitting adolescence, we had the good ol’ “Birds and the Bees” talk. I remember sitting there with my older brother at the kitchen table, and just living inside my head trying not to listen. I can’t tell you exactly what the conversation consisted of, but what I did take away from it was “if you get pregnant before you are way older and/or married ,I will disown you”. Well, the threat worked. I didn’t have my first child until I was 28. I know that if I did happen to become a teenage mom, he would still love me and his grandchild no matter what, but he was a serious man and I didn’t want to take that chance!

Fast forward to high school and when I was getting my license. My dad tried to take me out and teach me to drive, but he was a man with very little patience. We went to an industrial park on a Sunday (since there was no one on the road), and cruised down the side streets. I tried to take a turn without crossing my hands one over the other, and that was the end of it. Another time, he took me out to learn how to drive a standard. I drove pretty far and was proud of myself, but started to choke the clutch (i don’t even know if that’s a term, but that’s what it sounded like I was doing) at a stop sign. We both got fed up and I got back in the passenger seat. What I remember though, is that we were in a not so nice area of Providence, and while we were on the side of the road, a police officer pulled over. He had many questions for us. For those who don’t know me, I am  half Mexican, but no one would ever know. I have light hair and blue eyes, but my dad however looks totally Mexican. Even though I was only 16, I had enough smarts to know that the police officer thought my dad was soliciting a prostitute (Me!). I never drove a standard vehicle again. What I am thankful for however, is that my dad made it a point to show me what was under the hood of the car, because he said “if you’re going to drive it, you are going to know how it works!” Well, one night I broke down in a sketchy area around midnight, and I was all alone. I remember my dad showing me the mechanics of the car and thinking how I could get this car to start. I reconnected a spark plug that came loose after hitting a good ol’ Rhode Island pothole, and on my way I went.

When it came time to think about college and a career, he told me that I should go to school to be a Sports Broadcaster. Back when I was in high school, there were maybe one or two female broadcasters around, and now there are so many. I should have listened. He also told me to go into Sports medicine, where I would make big bucks. I didn’t listen. I thought maybe he was telling me because he was such a big sports fan that he would reap the benefits of his daughter having the “in”. Well, here I sit, blogging for fun and hating my job!

When it came to boys, my dad had one rule and one rule only: Never call the boys, let them call you! Boy was he so true about that. How many nights I sat around waiting for a phone call being disappointed, but if they wanted to be with me they would have called. He told me to date the “nerds” in high school because some day they were going to make something out of themselves. Well, looking back, most of them did (and i have to admit, they are way more attractive now, and more so then some of the cute boys in HS). He also told me I was never going to find a rich man in Rhode Island. That is true. But I married a great man, who may not be rich but gives me everything I need. I know my dad is proud of him for taking care of his little girl.

We lost a great man 5 years ago this May. His words of wisdom live on. I have a little boy that I try to raise with the same values I was raised with. My dad was a HUGE Yankees fan (he was wise, remember?) and now my son will be too. Til the day he died, he coached and umped Little League for the Elmwood section of Providence. I can’t promise that my son will love baseball, but if his grandpa has anything to do with it, he will.

I have to give credit to my mom here of course. She gave us the nurturing that a mom should. She never let us go without anything, and on occassion would “hide” things from our Dad so that we didn’t get the dreaded lectures!

I think having such a strong male figure in my life has made me the independent and strong woman that I am today. I am thankful for that. At 34 years old, I still hear his words, and also hear him saying “you kids never listen”. But he was right, we didn’t.

I am listening now. He died suddenly of a heart attack, and it came as a  big reality check as to how much we need to take care of ourselves. He never did. He was always too worried about others. So this one is for you dad. And as he would say “never say goodbye, it’s see you later”

Dad, I love you and I will see you later!

20 mins in the snow..NOT supermom!

It’s only 2pm, and it’s already been an eventful day in this household. When it snows here, I get to play single parent. My husband is off to work from the first drop of snow, until a few hours after the last. We have had some very long winters! We, meaning me and my son. He has been begging me since he woke up this morning to go play in the snow. I don’t know what it is, maybe I am lazy, I don’t like the cold, I am not as young and playful as I used to be, or maybe it’s PMS, but this is one thing that is more of a chore to me. Layer upon layer of clothing, getting snow in your boots, frostbite on the tips of my fingers, chapped burning face, and stripping off the wet clothing and dragging it into the house. I realize that I am not supermom! Having an only child is tough. At times you are forced to be their playmate and their parent.

It started this morning with my husband opening and closing his dresser drawers violently and making enough noise to wake up the neighborhood. I wake to tell him that I am going to burn that dresser down and he snaps at me saying “what do you care, you get to sleep all day and I have to go to work!” Have a nice day asshole. I never did fall asleep after that. I ran out before the snow got too bad, so I could stock up on iced coffee (because I run on Dunkin’) and it’s like I am catatonic without my first injection of caffeine. I put some chicken concoction in the crock pot (which smells really good right now by the way!) , went in the basement and did a load of laundry, cleaned up dog poop, handled the recyclables, went back in the basement to hit a switch in the fusebox because I blew a fuse and all the while hearing the kid “when are we going to go outside?”.

So finally, I brought him outside…..

The dog frolicking!

Mad because we had to go in!

My crap attempt at shoveling

Maybe we'll come back out later....

He was not happy that we had to come in. But I couldn’t feel my fingers…Isotoner driving gloves are not made for shoveling or playing in the snow.

I feel bad, I really do..I will read with him, color,  play games, and take him places, but I am just not one for playing in the snow. After being inside for 10 minutes, he was already asking when we could go back outside…ugh…

Let me tell you something about my 5 year old. He is snarky, fresh and has the attitude problem of a 15 year old. He tries to boss me around, asking me to do things for him when he is capable, and mimics me when I try to be stern with him. I don’t know if it’s a phase, I sure do hope so, but I am raising my son differently than I was raised. If I talked to my mother and father the way he talks to me sometimes, I would get the threat of the good ol’ belt! I never really got the belt, I think I was just too cute, but my brother did on a couple of occasions so I knew the threat was real!

He doesn’t always verbally abuse me, he is sweet and caring most times and pretty much my shadow everywhere I go. But today, today he has just been straight up bad! I reached my breaking point and had enough so I sent him to his room.

His room

I know, not much of a punishment with all of them toys. But to him, if he can’t be right by my side nagging me, it is punishment. Right now, he is literally climbing all over the arms of my computer chair watching what I am doing out of the corner of his eye while Sprout TV keeps him entertained.

While he was being “punished” he yelled “sorry mom, i’m sorry!”  from his room. Asking when he could come out, and then ran out to  bring me this thinking that he could pull at my heartstrings, and he did..

Front

Back

So, I sit here feeling bad that I am not the perfect playmate for my son.  I know that he made this note for me to weasel his way out of his “punishment”, but he makes me notes like this all of the time even when he is not in trouble. So even though I feel like I am not supermom, and never claim to be, my 5 year old son Michael gives me little reminders that to him, I must be!

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Feed the Children

No, this is not some Sally Struthers commercial from back in the day, even though I miss those commercials. Is it bad that I would laugh when i saw them? Not at the children of course, because it is heartbreaking. And I’m not laughing at the parody’s that were made to poke fun at her weight (because honestly I’m not far from her at her biggest). I guess it’s just her name, Sally Struthers. Whatever the case, I am at wit’s end as to what to feed my 5-year-old son!

English: Sally Struthers at the Filmex Tribute...

He is the pickiest eater….Just today I came home from the grocery store, and as he is helping,  peeking at the food that I brought home, he starts scolding me saying I didn’t buy him anything for dinner, all I bought him was junk. “Mom, do you really want me to eat junk for dinner?!” He yells. Really kid? Because last time I checked, that’s all that you eat! Here is what he eats, and will not stray from the menu. Now please don’t judge me for what he eats, he is eating and that is what matters, otherwise he would be one of those children in the Sally Struthers commercials!

Lunchables- Nastiest thing on the planet. Bologna, turkey, ham in circle shapes with some crackers and a ridiculously sized chunk of cheese.

Hot Dogs- I don’t mind he eat these, but I have to pay almost 5 dollars a package for all beef.

Macaroni and Cheese- The most processed thing on the shelf. Makes you wonder how they get that orange color. If I try to stray from the Kraft and make him organic, he won’t eat it. Sometimes I will throw a hot dog in there. Barf

Kids Cuisine- Nothing says yumminess like a microwaved meal. Really, he hardly ever eats them and only wants them for the puzzles on the back, the chance to win prizes, and the gummy snacks that come with them. Waste of money!

Kids Meals and Happy Meals from our local fast food chains-I don’t think I even need to get into why these are not a good choice.

That about sums it up. Nutritious eh? I have done research on how to get him to try new things. Sometimes he is willing, but most times he is not. Luckily he has the metabolism of my husband (who is 6 feet and 140 pounds) otherwise I am sure I will be having to think of a way to get him to exercise without screwing him up and giving him a body image issue and low self-esteem.

He does like some healthy things. Blueberries, carrots, and grapes. But that’s about it. So I go broke buying these things just so I can make sure he is getting something nutritious into his body.

I am hoping that this is a phase, as with everything else he tortures me with, and that eventually he will try healthier things. I was the same way as a child, just a little different. I would eat the same thing every night until I got sick of it. My mom and dad would argue because even though she would cook a five course meal for the rest of the family she would have to make me french toast every night for a week!

So it makes me wonder, am I just like my mother?? Am I an enabler? Could I try harder? Sometimes we do things out of convenience, so is it just that it’s more convenient for me? I do try, but I feel like I don’t try hard enough. What things do you do to try to get your picky eater to try new things?

Sincerely,

One frustrated mom!

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